Class of 2004 Bios


Nereus "Neric" Acosta

Nereus "Neric" Acosta is a Philippine politician, previously serving as Presidential Adviser on Environmental Protection and as a three-term member of the Philippine House of Representatives, representing the first district in the Bukidnon province. He also served as Secretary-General of the Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats, which works with leading liberal-democratic parties in Asia for greater democratization and the strengthening of human rights.

During his time in the House of Representatives, Neric was the principal author of environmental laws on solid waste management, biodiversity, and pollution in the Philippines. He also served as Chair of the Committee on Ecology and Chair of the Philippine Legislators Committee on Population and Human Development.

Neric teaches executive education courses at the Asian Institute of Management. He earned his BA in political science from the University of Philippines Diliman, an MA in public affairs from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and a PhD in political science from the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

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Elizabeth Addonizio

Elizabeth Addonizio is a partner at Cranemere, a global investment holding company. Prior to joining Cranemere, she worked at Morgan Stanley in the Investment Banking and Corporate M&A and Strategy Divisions.

Elizabeth served on active military duty at U.S. Central Command for eighteen months, working as a strategic analyst on the personal staff of General David H. Petraeus. As an intelligence officer in the U.S. Navy Reserve since 2004, she has supported the Chief of Naval Operations Strategic Studies Group, the Navy Warfare Development Command, and the Office of Naval Intelligence.

As a Henry Luce Scholar, Elizabeth worked in the China Center for Economic Research at Peking University and in the Economics Unit of the World Bank Resident Mission in Beijing, China. She also worked in the Inter-American Affairs Directorate of the National Security Council and in the Latin American Affairs Division of the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.

She is a former Fulbright Scholar, and she holds a Ph.D. from Yale University, a M.P.A. from Princeton University, and a B.A. from Bucknell University.

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Weslynne Ashton

Weslynne Ashton is Associate Professor at the Illinois Institute of Technology with joint appointments at the Stuart School of Business and the Institute of Design. She is a sustainable systems scientist, whose research, teaching and practice are oriented around transitioning our socio-ecological systems towards sustainability and equity. She studies the adoption of socially and environmentally responsible strategies in business, and the role of innovation and entrepreneurship in addressing social and environmental challenges. Her research is grounded in industrial ecology. Her current work focuses on increasing sustainability and equity in urban food systems, and developing regenerative economies in post-industrial regions and emerging economies.

Weslynne previously led Yale University's Industrial Ecology in Developing Countries program and held visiting faculty appointments at TERI University in India and the National University of Singapore. She has a bachelor's degree in Environmental Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and master's and doctoral degrees in Environmental Science from Yale University.

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Cecilia Barja-Chamas

Cecilia Barja-Chamas is a writer of narratives that mobilize to act on behalf of the ousted and disenfranchised. She works in the public sector and civil society leading complex multi-sector, multi-year, and cross-borders sustainable programs in her home country Bolivia and throughout Latin America.

Being part of a new generation that started a new era of politics in Bolivia, and later as a team member that built systemic change toward sustainable development in the Pan Amazon and the peace process in Colombia, she has deepened her understanding of the complexity and beauty of social processes towards the common good.

She was a Mason Fellow at the Ash Center at Harvard Kennedy School in 2008.

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Olivier Cattaneo

Olivier Cattaneo is Head of the policy analysis and strategy unit at the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Development Cooperation Directorate. He previously worked as a Senior Trade Specialist at the World Bank, in Washington, D.C, managing the Global Trade and Financial Architecture project and advising developing country governments on trade policy reforms.

Earlier, Olivier was responsible for trade policy at the Agence Française de Développement. He also worked as an adviser and speechwriter to French ministers and members of Parliament and as a trade expert in international organizations.

Olivier has taught at various institutions, including Yale University, SciencesPo Paris, the University of Paris I Panthéon Sorbonne, and the Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées.

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Karina Dashko

Karina Dashko is a leading corporate governance expert representing a new generation of Russians committed to building a country based on the rule of law, market economies, and good governance. She is currently Director for Corporate Affairs at T Plus, one of Russia's largest energy asset management companies.

Previously Karina worked as Director for Corporate Issues at Integrated Energy Systems, Corporate Governance Director in  UC RUSAL, the world’s largest aluminum and alumina producer, and was formerly head of the law department and chief compliance officer for VimpelCom, one of Russia’s leading providers of wireless telecommunications services.

Karina has worked with the state Duma to develop programs for disclosing corporate information and protecting minority shareholders, and helped draft plans for the Russian security exchange regulatory body. She has also served as a legal consultant to the International Finance Corporation, where she helped promote sustainable private sector investment in developing countries.

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Ilir Dugolli

Ilir Dugolli currently serves as Ambassador of Kosovo to the United States, having previously served as Ambassador of Kosovo to Turkey. Following Kosovo's independence, he was among the first group of diplomats charged with establishing Kosovo's diplomatic missions. He previously held ambassadorships to Pakistan, Jordan, Afghanistan, Sweden, and Belgium. He has also served as Director for NATO and Security Policies at the Kosovo's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Ilir has been involved with a number of civil society initiatives, including as president of the board for the Project on Ethnic Relations – Kosovo, as co-founder of KIPRED (Kosovar Institute for Policy Research and Development), and as co-founder of D4D (Democracy for Development).

Prior to joining the diplomatic service he was a lecturer with the Law School and Political Science department of the University of Prishtina as well as with American University in Kosovo. 

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Aboubakr JamaĂŻ

Aboubakr JamaĂŻ has been the Dean of the Institute for American Universities School of Business and International Relations since 2014. Aboubakr's professional career spans the business sectors of finance, economics, and journalism.

As a professor, he teaches political science and international journalism at IAU and other American institutions of higher education. Among the many prizes and distinctions he has received, he was named Harvard University’s Nieman Fellow in 2007 and Mason Fellow in 2008. He was also awarded the 2008 Tully Center Free Speech Prize, Newhouse School of Communication, Syracuse University, and the International Press Freedom Award from the Committee to Protect Journalists.

In 2016 he was honored by the Project on Middle East Democracy. Professor JamaĂŻ has a Bachelor of Business Administration from the Higher Institute of Commerce and Management in Casablanca, Morocco, a MBA from Oxford University, and a Master in Public Administration from Harvard University. He speaks Arabic, French, and English.


Tinatin "Tina" Khidasheli

Tinatin "Tina" Khidasheli serves as a chairperson for a Georgian think tank, Civic IDEA. Previously, she was Minister of Defense for the country of Georgia, the first female in that post. She also previously served as a member of the Georgian Parliament.

In 2010 she was elected to and served on the City Council in Tbilisi, Georgia and as a member of the Budget Committee. As one of the leaders of the opposition Republican Party, she strove to eradicate state corruption in Georgia, while fighting for human rights, democratic reforms and respect for the constitution and laws of Georgia. She was involved in numerous independent anti-corruption investigation projects, supporting journalists and NGOs in information gathering, disclosure and reporting.

Previously, as president of the Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association, Tina played an important role in observing parliamentary elections, uncovering electoral fraud, creating dispute-resolution programs, and lobbying for the creation of state-run legal aid services for the poor and disenfranchised.

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Sang-Jo Kim

Sang-Jo Kim is the Chief Presidential Secretary for Policy for the Republic of Korea. Previously, he was Chairman of the Korea Fair Trade Commission. He has played a key role in building consensus for economic reform following South Korea's financial crisis in the late 1990s.

Sang-Jo is also a professor of economics at Hansung University and chairs 'Solidarity for Economic Reform' (SER), a civil organization dedicated to enhancing the corporate governance system through minority shareholder campaigning. Under his leadership, the group won several landmark lawsuits including the one against the directors of Samsung Electronics and Hyundai Motors. The cases have become the cornerstone for more clearly defining the fiduciary duties of corporate directors in Korea.

Sang-Jo has also been instrumental in improving laws and institutions related to corporate governance, such as the passage of the Securities Class Action Act and the amendment of the Corporate Law prohibiting the usurpation of corporate opportunities.

He has a BA, MA, and PhD degrees in economics from Seoul National University.

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John Kingman

Sir John Kingman became Chair of Legal & General, a financial services company based in the UK, in 2016. He was previously Second Permanent Secretary to HM Treasury, where he was responsible for policy relating to business, financial services and infrastructure. He is also Chair of UK Research and Innovation, which oversees UK Government science and innovation spending of over ÂŁ7bn a year.

At the Treasury John was closely involved in the UK response to the financial crisis, handling the resolution of Northern Rock and leading negotiations with RBS, Lloyds and HBOS on their ÂŁ37bn recapitalisation. He was the first Chief Executive of UK Financial Investments Ltd (UKFI). From 2010-12, John was Global Co-Head of the Financial Institutions Group at Rothschild.

John recently undertook an independent review of the Financial Reporting Council, recommending its replacement by a new statutory Audit, Reporting and Governance Authority and the ending of self-regulation of the major audit firms. The Government has committed to take forward these recommendations.

He is a member of the Trilateral Commission and chaired the judges for the 2017 Wolfson Economics Prize.

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Paul Kwengwere

Paul Kwengwere is Founder and Senior Partner of PMK Associates, a Malawian consulting firm working in development. He has undertaken numerous assignments, including an assignment with the Ministry of Irrigation and Water Development where he worked on donor and aid harmonization in the water sector, ensuring effective and efficient government processes.

Previously, Paul was policy director for ActionAid Malawi, where he sought to reduce poverty and disease in Southern Africa. Prior to joining ActionAid, he held posts in the government of Malawi, the Malawi Central Bank, and the Malawi Investment Promotion Agency.

Paul was also a research assistant for the Harvard Kennedy School's Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation and a research fellow with Investec Asset Management Institute. One of his goals is to help local institutions in Africa forge international affiliations, providing resources that would maximize local food production capabilities.

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Bryan Leach

Bryan Leach is Founder and CEO of Ibotta, Inc., a mission-driven, high-growth technology company that is paying consumers hundreds of millions of dollars for using its free app while reshaping the advertising and performance marketing landscape for thousands of leading consumer packaged goods and retail clients.

Bryan was previously a partner at the law firm of Bartlit Beck Herman Palenchar & Scott LLP, in Denver, Colorado. As a lawyer, he specialized in international arbitration and dispute resolution, and handled trials and arbitrations in London, New York, Seattle, and San Francisco. Bryan serves on the Boards of the Association of Marshall Scholars and the Grafton Street Fund, a donor-advised fund that directs charitable contributions to nonprofit organizations in developing countries.

After earning a degree from Yale Law School, Bryan served as a judicial law clerk for Judge Jose Cabranes in New Haven and Justice David Souter at the United States Supreme Court.

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MA Jun

MA Jun is a renowned environmentalist who is igniting critical conversations and change across China and serves as a director at one of China’s most dynamic environmental NGOs, the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs. This influential organization developed the first public database of water pollution information in China and brought together a coalition of Chinese NGOs to promote a global green supply chain by pushing large corporations to focus on the environmental performance of their suppliers.

His 1999 book, “China’s Water Crisis,” was China’s first major book on the subject of that nation’s environmental issues. In 2006, Time magazine named him as one of the 100 most influential people in the world.

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Nay Win Maung

Nay Win Maung was a leading critic of the government in Myanmar through his magazine, Living Color. Working as a publisher in a country where government policies toward the media are restrictive, Nay Win was widely read in Myanmar and the influence of Living Color magazine grew significantly under his leadership.

Nay Win also co-founded two newspapers, The Voice Weekly and Foreign Affairs Weekly. As the only media advocating national reconciliation and offering constructive criticism of government policies, Nay Win's publications remain under strict scrutiny.

Trained as a medical doctor, Nay Win saw himself as a policy critic and leading advocate for economic and political reform in Myanmar. He founded the think-tank Myanmar Partners, and co-founded Myanmar Egress, a civil society organization focusing on capacity building and research.

Before he tragically passed away from a heart attack in January 2012, he was the program director for the Myanmar Egress Institute, a mini school of government.

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Nachiket Mor

Nachiket Mor is a Visiting Scientist at The Banyan Academy of Leadership in Mental Health where he offers a week-long seminar on Health Systems Design. His current work is principally focused on the design of national and regional health systems.

He was a member of the Indian Government’s High-Level Expert Group on Universal Health Care; a member of the Primary Care Task Force of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare of the Government of India, a member of the Health Commission for the Indian State of Himachal Pradesh, and a member of the Standing Committee on Health Systems Strengthening at the National Academy of Medicine in Washington, DC.

Nachiket has a PhD in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania.

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Mteto Nyati

Mteto Nyati is the executive chairman of BSG, a homegrown consulting and technology company that specialises in strategy execution. In BSG he holds a 40% shareholding through his investment vehicle, Wazo Investments. Mteto is also the chairman of Eskom. Previously, he was the Group Chief Executive of Altron and Chief Executive Officer of MTN South Africa.

He is the author of the number one bestseller, Betting on a Darkie, a book about his life as a shopkeeper’s son, family man, and business leader at local and multinational corporates.

Mteto mentors and coaches senior executives, including CEOs as well as up and coming business professionals. In 2021, the University of Johannesburg’s College of Business and Economics awarded Mteto an honorary doctorate in IT Management. He holds a BSc in Mechanical Engineering from the University of KwaZulu Natal.

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Robert Piper

Robert Piper is Assistant Secretary-General for Development Coordination for the United Nations. He was previously the Deputy Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and the UN Coordinator for development and humanitarian activities in the occupied Palestinian territory.

Robert has dedicated most of his working life to understanding and addressing the development dimensions of conflict-prevention and peace-building. He started his development career in 1989 with the Australian aid agency, AusAid, administering projects in the Philippines and Papua New Guinea.

He joined the United Nations in 1990, and has served with the United Nations in various field and Headquarters roles since, including in Thailand, Cambodia, Fiji, Kosovo, and Nepal. Following the Indian Ocean tsunami, Robert served as chief of staff in the Office of the Special Envoy for Tsunami Recovery (former US President Bill Clinton).

In 2007, he served as the inaugural director of the UN's Millennium Development Goals Achievement Fund before returning to the field in early 2008 as the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Nepal. He served as the head of the UN in Nepal until March 2013. From March 2013 to June 2015, Robert was the UN Regional Humanitarian Coordinator serving the nine countries of the Sahel region (Senegal, Mauritania, The Gambia, Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, Chad and Northern regions of Nigeria and Cameroon).

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Emran Razaghi

Emran M. Razaghi is the Founder and Director of the Iranian National Center for Addiction Studies and Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran. Emran is also the Co-Founder of the Middle East and North Africa Harm Reduction Association.

Emran previously served as Director, Bureau for Psycho-social Health and the Health of Youth, Department of Health, Ministry of Health and Medical Education, Tehran. This bureau includes the Office for Mental Health, the Office for Drug Demand Reduction, and the Office for School Health. From 1995 to 2001, Emran was Deputy for Prevention and Cultural Affairs, State Welfare Organization, Tehran.

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Katherine G. Southwick

Katherine G. Southwick is the Senior Genocide Prevention Adviser on a project at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum on the role of domestic criminal justice systems in atrocity prevention. Katherine previously worked for a decade on human rights, humanitarian advocacy and statelessness, and legal reform in Africa, Asia, and the Pacific Islands.

Katherine worked for the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) in Washington D.C. and the Philippines on programs relating to judicial reform, anti-trafficking in persons and the ASEAN human rights system. She also clerked for the late Hon. Charles P. Sifton in the Eastern District of New York and practiced international arbitration. She was awarded the Robert L. Bernstein Fellowship to devote a year to research and advocacy on the global problem of statelessness at Refugees International. She has worked in the Office of the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, the State Department's Office of the Legal Adviser, and for human rights organizations in India and Uganda. Katherine’s commentary on the Rohingya crisis has appeared in media and scholarly outlets, and she has provided legal expertise to Rohingya rights organizations.

Katherine grew up in Africa as the daughter of a U.S. Foreign Service Officer and holds a B.A. and a J.D. from Yale University as well as a PhD from National University of Singapore Faculty of Law.

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Heather Stevens

Heather Stevens is a career civil servant, whose most recent posting was Director of Workforce Policy in the Department of Health, Northern Ireland, where she was responsible for advising government Ministers on all matters relating to the health and social care workforce including the numbers of health professionals trained, regulatory matters, and terms and conditions including pay negotiations.

Prior to that she was head of the Office of the Civil Service Commissioners, the regulatory body for recruitment to the Civil Service, following a spell in the voluntary sector working as a Director in the National Youth Agency in the United Kingdom. The Agency aims to promote the voice and influence of young people and to support all those who work with young people outside of the school environment.

Following a family move to Malaysia in 2017, Heather runs a leadership program for the Sixth Form prefects and is heavily engaged in the College's outreach program which provides service and fundraising opportunities for the pupils in the local community.